This week President Obama and the Department of Labor have finalized plans to fix problems with overtime pay in America. The new rule is expected to extend overtime protections to 4.2 million American workers who are not currently eligible for overtime under the antiquated federal law.
Naturally, Republicans are freaking out.
House Speaker Paul Ryan was quick to issue a statement accusing the president of “rushing through regulations for the sake of his own political legacy.”
He quickly pulls up the standard GOP rebuttal that actually paying people enough will immediately bankrupt all businesses and plunge us into unskilled chaos.
“This regulation hurts the very people it alleges to help. Who is hurt most? Students, non-profit employees, and people starting a new career. By mandating overtime pay at a much higher salary threshold, many small businesses and non-profits will simply be unable to afford skilled workers and be forced to eliminate salaried positions, complete with benefits, altogether.”
Speaker Ryan isn’t alone in his doomsday prophesies. According to a few outspoken Republicans, paying workers the overtime pay they are entitled to by working more than 40 hours a week will pretty much destroy the country.
“Our economy continues to be stuck in the worst recovery since World War II and the only solution the Obama Administration can come up with is more red tape that will hurt our nation’s working middle class. Just like Obamacare’s 30 hour work week, this regulation will once again incentivize employers to cut worker hours, provide fewer benefits, and hinder flexible work arrangements for hardworking Americans. That doesn’t help anyone get ahead,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said in a press release.
With the help of Senators Scott and Alexander, McConnell hopes to sponsor legislation that would require the Department of Labor to conduct a study on the “real life effects” of the regulations before they can be implemented in December.
Fortunately, the GOP’s reluctance to embrace an increase to the minimum wage means there is already ample evidence to support the idea that paying workers correctly actually helps the middle class and working poor.
President Obama dropped the mic on Republican tantrums in an email the day before the rule was finalized.
“Americans have spent too long working long hours and getting less in return. So wherever and whenever I can make sure that our economy rewards hard work and responsibility, that’s what I’m going to do. Every hardworking American deserves a paycheck that lets them support their families, gain a little economic security, and pass down some opportunity to their kids. That’s always worth fighting for. “
Your move, RepubliCan’ts.
Image by DonkeyHotey via Flickr under Creative Commons